You don’t have to look too far to find a child that is hooked on the game ‘Minecraft’, yet to look at it you will probably find yourself wondering what all the fuss is about. There are no fancy graphics or colourful charismatic Disney type characters. Instead, the idea of Minecraft is a simple one, but sometimes back to basics is best.
Minecraft is an ‘open world sandbox’ game where you can construct and survive in strange elaborate randomly generated worlds. Children can express creatively through designing, building and exploring, they can build practically anything their imaginations can think up.
Incredibly since its release for PC back in 2009, it has now sold over 20 million copies and is available on Mac, IOS, Android and Xbox. So, what’s the big attraction? To begin with you are placed in a random terrain with no supplies or clear objectives. Play in creative mode and you can make huge structures from scratch with unlimited resources or play in survival mode which involves creating under pressure, out of necessity while keeping a look out for monsters and such…intense stuff!
So, what are our kids learning whilst engaging in this world of giant pixels? Kids are in fact learning a great deal…
- Expression and Creativity: Children can create anything their heart desires, all they have to do is ‘mine’ and collect the resource needed in order to create the tools and build structures.
- Problem Solving: In order to survive, children will need to obtain food via farming, hunting or baking to name just a few examples.
- Focus: This is needed to keep constant check on health and hunger levels. Children also need to respond to the environment, they can’t rely on memorising layouts and levels.
- Time Management: Children must follow time cycles and plan their tasks accordingly taking into account day/night etc.
- Organisation and Planning: Arranging and co-ordinating materials, planning time and resources needed in order to achieve goals.
As with anything, we think that moderation is key. As long as your child’s screen time is monitored and managed correctly, we think that Minecraft can be a great game for inadvertently teaching your children important life skills.
Minecraft recommended for ages 6+ https://minecraft.net/